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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tom Brokaw on the NY Knicks

This is a New York Giants football blog. But this is a New York Sports fan blog too, and the sports fan in all of us holds a lot of significance. Collectively this site is about applauding what is good and not tolerating what is bad in sports. In the spirit of being a voice for the fan, we share this interview from April in which Tom Brokaw talks Knicks with Jim Gray.

Brokaw: “The NBA, as you know I am a big fan of the NBA…or have been. I am not very happy with it at the moment. I think that they have lost their way.”

Gray: “Why not…What bothers you?”

Brokaw: “What bothers me is that a lot of the deportment is inappropriate. You know, off the court, and I think that just four or five exceptions they are not being what they ought to be to the country.”

Gray: “And you have such a large voice, I'm wondering if you have spoken to the commissioner or team officials.”

Brokaw: “No…..He certainly knows how I feel about the Knicks…and their ownership. As a season ticket holder for a long time, I won’t renew because I don’t like the attitude that that ownership has brought to the community.”

Gray: “And you have been in the front row or close to it for a long time.”

Brokaw: “I was in the front row for a while and then three rows back but not next year. I just think that they have failed their obligation to the city. I think that we have great sports franchises in New York. I think Fred Wilpon of the Mets and George Steinbrenner of the Yankees measure up and they bring to the community winning teams as best they can and make real statements about being supportive of the community. I don’t think that the Dolans have done that and I think the Garden has lost a lot of its luster as a result of their ownership and this is the first time that I have really said that out loud. But I feel very strongly about it and I think that it's the least we can expect. They get these huge prices for people to sit in those seats, all kinds of tax advantages to owning the Garden and yet they operate as if they were a sovereign country and want to play only by their own rules. So I’m not very happy about that.”


James Allen said...

The Garden has been a disgusting joke for years now. (I still love Frank Isola's stories of being followed around by Garden security.) I was a huge Knicks fan, now I don't even watch the games on TV. There's plenty of other basketball to watch.

If more bigwigs like Brokaw start dropping their seats, that might be a bit of a start. But more than anything they have to lose advertising. Unfortunately, the Garden is such a huge cash cow that they'd have to lose some big time sponsors for it to make a dent. Or maybe the Dolans could just die.

Andy F. said...

I used to be a passionate Knick fan back in the day. The point is that we as diehard Giants fans must think of ourselves as an important voice, as important as Brokaw's. I wrote a letter to Accorsi in 2002 telling him that Fassel was not going to be our answer, and he wrote me back with some incredible words. (If you want to know what he said, I'll make any and all of you email me.)

Our voice as fans matters in ways you cannot imagine. We all have voice, a VERY IMPORTANT VOICE. Giants fans frustrations led to George Young, which in turn led to Simms, Taylor and Parcells and the turnaround of a franchise. Do not ever underestimate the power of your voice. Do not confuse the length of time with whether you are being heard or not. It always takes longer than you think, but it does not mean that your opinions are being ignored.

James Allen said...

I know what you're saying, Andy, but you're talking about an organization that, for the most part, has been classy throughout most of their history. The Knicks are owned by complete idiots.

Walsh could turn things around, but he seems a little long in tooth for such a massive reclamation project.

Andy F. said...

That is correct, that is absolutely the point, James. This is a very good time for the Giants organization, as they have just won the Super Bowl, have a GM that is doing very well, and is moving into a new stadium next year. For all of that, the PSL has incurred more than a little wrath; fans will begrudgingly concede the PSL if the team is consistently doing well, but they will turn on the organization if given any reason to... and thus my attention for the saner and more rational voices of this forum to stay aware of the power you hold in good times and in bad ones.

The common demoninator is high prices and bad product. With monopolies like professional sports and Microsoft, you can get away with one but not both. In the real world you generally cannot have either.

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